Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Christmas gift Dr. Mike has been waiting for for 50 years

Dr. Mike wrote at TSZ: Mike Elzinga: You think you know all about science from reading popularizations? You want scientists to explain things to you even as you refuse to learn basic high school science and vocabulary? For the first time in something like 50 years I would like to see an ID/creationist do a simple high school level chemistry/physics calculation, get a scientific concept correct, and use scientific words properly in a sentence. All any of you are able to do is keep the “arguments” going over the meanings of the meanings of the meanings of the meanings of meanings … You never display any awareness of science at even the high school level; and most of you can’t Read More ›

ID Foundations, 21: MF — “as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation” . . . a root worldview assumption based cause for rejecting the design inference emerges into plain view

In the OK thread, in comment 50, ID objector Mark Frank has finally laid out the root of ever so many of the objections to the design inference filter. Unsurprisingly, it is a worldview based controlling a priori of materialism: [re EA] #38 [MF, in 50:] I see “chance” as usually meaning to “unpredictable” or “no known explanation”. The unknown explanations may be deterministic elements or genuinely random uncaused events which we just don’t know about. It can also includes things that happen as the result of intelligence – but as a materialist I believe intelligence to be a blend of the determined and random so for me that is not a third type of explanation. But, just what what Read More ›

New Poll: No One Is Buying It

After evolutionist James Shapiro claimed he was misquoted by certain members of the Texas state’s school board textbook review committee, even though he wasn’t misquoted; and that those members made a “completely false statement” about novelty being an unsolved problem for evolutionary theory, even though it was Shapiro who misrepresented novelty as well in hand; and that he was “the victim of skillful misquoting for an anti-science purpose,” even though expecting our public schools to teach accurate science is certainly not “anti-science” and it is evolution which consistently makes the anti-science claim that evolution is a fact; and that  Read more

Are dolphins people too?

The Helsinki Group, a small but politically savvy group of 11 experts in ethics, conservation and dolphin behavior which was set up in May 2010, is currently trying to attract support for a Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans: Whales and Dolphins, which states that “all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing.” The Declaration reads as follows: Based on the principle of the equal treatment of all persons; Recognizing that scientific research gives us deeper insights into the complexities of cetacean minds, societies and cultures; Noting that the progressive development of international law manifests an entitlement to life by cetaceans; We affirm that all cetaceans as persons have the right to life, liberty and wellbeing. We Read More ›

Reflections on self-organization theorist James Shapiro’s tirade on “misquoting science”

Fundamentally, from the Darwin-in-the-schools’ lobby’s perspective, Shapiro is no different from the fellow in Texas who he thinks misrepresented him. Indeed, people have lost their right to teach for less than what Shapiro has already said. If he thinks he can buy safety by attacking that Texan, he is thinking like a newbie. Read More ›

Lizzie asked me a question, so I will respond

Dr. Liddle recently used my name specifically in a question here: Chance and 500 coins: a challenge Barry? Sal? William? I would always like to stay on good terms with Dr. Liddle. She has shown great hospitality. The reason I don’t visit her website is the acrimony many of the participants have toward me. My absence there has nothing to do with her treatment of me, and in fact, one reason I was ever there in the first place was she was one of the few critics of ID that actually focused on what I said versus assailing me personally. So, apologies in advance Dr. Liddle if I don’t respond to every question you field. It has nothing to do Read More ›

Permissible errors in asserting design using the Explanatory Filter(s)

Masters of stealth intent on concealing their actions may successfully evade the explanatory filter. But masters of self-promotion intent on making sure their intellectual property gets properly attributed find in the explanatory filter a ready friend. Bill Dembski Mere Creation The Explanatory filter classifies systems or artifacts into 3 categories. 1. produced by law 2. produced by chance 3. produced neither by chance nor law (designed by definition) Suppose we started out with the correct probability distributions. We can interpret the above statement by Bill to mean we might mistake a system as produced by chance or law when in fact it was produced by an intelligence. For example, if you had uniquely numbered fair coins, and they were arranged Read More ›

Elves get Icelandic highway project shelved

Wipe that snicker off your face. You have no better reason, really, for believing that They’re Out There. Physicist Paul Davies— himself head of a group charged with figuring out what to do if aliens are spotted (the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup)—has explained, “It’s now fashionable to say that the universe is teeming with life, but there is not a shred of evidence.” Read More ›

New at The Best Schools I

Popular science writing - It’s as challenging as writing a novel and playing Scrabble at the same time. The story must be interesting and believable but all the story elements must also be skillfully arranged facts. Read More ›